My Eulogy for Jerry Bridges

JerryBridges
Jerry Bridges: 1929-2016

I can’t describe what kind of impact Jerry Bridges has made on my life and thought. But in view of the fact that he has recently gone to glory, I think it’s fitting that I at least try.

First, Jerry Bridges was pivotal for my thought life. His writing was clear. His writing was organized. His writing was done with careful, theological precision, a Reformed nuance, and always in view of God’s glory. Considering the topic of love, here’s a passage worth a read:

In 1 John 3:16 John says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” The key idea here is that love gives, even at great cost to itself. Jesus gave His life for us. John 3:16 tells us that the Father so loved that He gave His only Son to die for us. In Jesus’ incarnation and death, both the Father and the Son gave in response to our desperate plight. Nothing but the Savior’s incarnation and death would suffice to rescue us. The cost was infinite, but God the Father and God the Son loved us so much they did not hesitate to pay the cost to meet our need. (The Practice of Godliness)

Next, Jerry Bridges was pivotal for my spiritual life. When I read Bridges, I never walked away cold. On the contrary, his writing had, and still has, a way of pointing me to spiritual goals in Christ–and it was always holiness! No one who has given his books a fair shake can say that they weren’t positively affected by them. Here’s an example on living righteously:

Paul wanted the Roman believers, and us today, to turn in the other direction and to develop habits of godly living. He said, “So now offer [the parts of your body] in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.” Righteousness, in this passage, does not refer to the righteousness we have in Christ (as in Romans 3), but to the ethical righteousness–the right conduct–we are to practice every day. Whereas righteousness in this verse to our conduct, holiness refers to our character. So it is through righteous actions that we develop holy character. Holiness of character, then, is developed one choice at a time as w choose to act righteously in each and ever situation and circumstance we encounter during the day. (The Discipline of Grace: God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness)

Although Jerry Bridges has left his earthly tabernacle, he leaves behind a plethora of books that will continue to bless and instruct the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ. I recommend you rush to whatever store you purchase books from and buy some. Titles include: The Practice of Godliness, The Pursuit of Holiness, The Discipline of Grace, and Trusting God.

Blessings,

Joe

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